Age discrimination is widespread, but not widely acknowledged. Unlike racism and sexism, ageism is often normalized (WHO, 2020). As people live longer, healthier lives, they also remain in the workplace longer (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). A majority (64%), of older workers, particularly female workers, report being subjected to discriminatory mistreatment (AARP, 2014).
This presentation focuses on a discussion of the preliminary results of an ongoing study addressing age discrimination in the workplace. A sample of 244 WCU faculty and staff (ages 20 - 80) responded to an online survey. Questions probed work experiences, work attitudes, stress, and life satisfaction. Forty-six percent (n = 112) of participants reported experiencing ageist treatment; of these, 64 were women, indicating that older women were more likely to face intersectional discrimination (Barrington, 2015). Qualitative data analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) indicated that ageist treatment resulted in feelings of powerlessness and isolation. Consequently, older faculty women often lowered their professional expectations and engaged in self-silencing. This presentation addresses the personal, social, and cultural consequences of age discrimination and suggests possible solutions to this widespread problem.
Magnarelli, J., Stricker, L., Fry, D., Tahmaseb-McConatha, J., Schnell, F., & Kumar, V. K. (2020). Ageism in the Workplace: Ageing in the Age of Intolerance. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wcupa.edu/psych_stuwork/6